Today's red-hot inflation numbers don't have to spell bad news for your portfolio, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Tuesday. There is one sector that's immune to inflation, and it just so happens to be the sector that rallied the most in today's session -- technology.
Shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Free Report are up 45% for the year, and for good reason. Google doesn't have exposure to rising oil and gas prices. It doesn't have to worry about the price of plastics or packaging. Freight costs? Nope. Cramer called Google a "banana of non-inflation," which makes it the perfect stock in a rising interest rate environment.
The same theory can be applied to all of tech. Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Free Report isn't prone to inflation, and neither is Apple (AAPL) - Get Free Report, which offsets manufacturing costs with services like the AppleCard, which only continues to gain in popularity.
But tech isn't the only winner when inflation rears its ugly head. Cramer said some brands can transcend inflation, brands like PepsiCo (PEP) - Get Free Report, which delivered monster earnings. Pepsi's brands are strong enough to push through small price increases to offset rising costs, Cramer explained, and that's why Pepsi is also the perfect stock for an inflation-proof portfolio.
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Be Selective With SPACs
If you're going to invest in a SPAC, you need to be very selective, Cramer warned viewers. Many SPACs are nothing more than garbage schemes cooked up by greedy scam artists. That's why Cramer took a little extra time to do some homework before sharing his opinions on GS Acquisition Holdings II GSAII and Churchill Capital V (CCIV) - Get Free Report.
The first GS Acquisition Holdings, in 2018, did everything you want a SPAC to do. It was backed by Goldman Sachs Acquisition Holdings GSAH. It took its time finding the right deal. And it ultimately became Vertiv (VRTV) - Get Free Report, which debuted at $13 a share and slowly climbed to highs over $70.
GS Acquisition II appears to be following in those same footsteps and plans to merge with Mirion Technologies, which makes radiation detection and measurement solutions. There's nothing special about Mirion, Cramer said, it's just another sleepy business that Goldman can clean up and make better for shareholders. Cramer said he'd be a buyer, but there's no hurry until the merger closes.
Churchill Capital, on the other hand, is playing the fast-money game, with mixed results. The first Churchill SPAC became Clarivate, a real winner, but two through four were lackluster with two disasters, including Lucid Motors. So far, Churchill Capital V is just a pile of money with a manager, Cramer warned, and should not be bought.
Off the Charts: Oil
In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer checked in with colleague Carley Garner for a fresh take on where oil prices are headed next after a strong rally so far this year.
So far, oil producers have remained disciplined, keeping production low to support higher prices. But as prices continue to rise, it will be harder to maintain that discipline. That's why when Garner looked at the oil futures for December 2021, 2022 and 2023, prices are forecast to be less than they are right now.
Garner also noted that the seasonal patterns for crude points to a peak in mid-July, right where we are now, as the summer driving season begins to wind down.
But it was the Commitment of Traders, or COT, report, that caught Garner's attention. She noted that big institutional traders have more than 500,000 net-long contracts for oil, which leaves no one left to buy. The four other times in recent years contracts surged above 500,000, oil saw big declines in the weeks and months that followed.
Finally, Garner compared oil's monthly chart, noting similarities to 2018, where oil ran into a ceiling of resistance and the relative strength indicator also signaled overbought conditions. All of these signaled caution for both Garner and Cramer.
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Just in Time for Back-to-School
Many investors mistakenly believe the government stimulus is all in the past, but one of the most important parts is only just beginning. Cramer said the child tax credit stimulus is just about to hit the checkbooks of millions of families, most of which have paid down debt and are ready to spend for the upcoming back-to-school season.
Cramer identified four stocks he said are perfect for this event. The first is Levi Strauss (LEVI) - Get Free Report, which just reported stellar earnings thanks to the "waistline inflation" seen by many people during the pandemic.
Next was AEO (AEO) - Get Free Report, formerly American Eagle Outfitters. Shares of AEO are up 249% over the past 12 months and Cramer said this Action Alerts PLUS holding has more room to run thanks to exposure to denim and its strong Aerie women's apparel brand.
Back to school also means back to sports for many kids and teens and that means Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) - Get Free Report is poised to have a monster back-to-school and holiday season. Shares are up 77% for the year, but still trade at just 12 times earnings.
Finally, for those investors looking for income, Cramer said you can play all of these trends with Simon Property Group (SPG) - Get Free Report, the mall operator that's emerged from the pandemic stronger than when it entered.
Taiwan: Consistency and Support
In his No-Huddle Offense segment, Cramer offered up his latest take on China, saying America needs a consistent strategy that stands up for Taiwan.
We need to stand up to China, Cramer said, and make it very clear that interference with the Taiwanese economy won't be tolerated. There's a lot of things we can do beyond just sending our navy to patrol the area, he added. We can go as far as blocking all Chinese imports into the U.S. if we wanted, and we need to make sure the Chinese know it.
Here's what Jim Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the "Mad Money Lightning Round" Tuesday evening:
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in GOOGL, MSFT, AAPL, AEO.